Booper the Cat Free Sewing Pattern Plus Bonus Tiny Patterns!On March 7, 2018 by fluffmonger
I’m excited to release my newest free pattern for Booper the Cat and her pet guinea pig, Potato! Since releasing the pattern and tutorial for Quigley the Corgi, I’ve received a few requests for a cat sewing pattern as well as patterns for other common pets. It generally takes a few weeks, if not months, for me to make a single pattern. So instead of starting from scratch, I decided to modify the corgi pattern to release a cat pattern quickly. If you’ve already sewn Quigley the Corgi, you’ll be able to breeze through this tutorial! I’ve also made bonus patterns and kits for a tiny Booper the Cat, a full-size Potato the Guinea Pig, and a tiny Quigley the Corgi!
To make Booper the Cat and Potato the Guinea Pig, you’ll need:
- Main color fleece for cat (I’m using hand-dyed organic cotton and hemp fleece for which I have kits here) You’ll need approximately 1/3 yard (see cutting layout below for closer approximations)
- White fleece — You’ll need approximately 1/3 yard
- Scraps of fleece for tiny guinea pig (or other tiny animal or heart)
- Scrap of lightweight knit fabric for insides of tiny guinea pig’s ears (fleece is too thick to fold in the tiny ears)
- Black embroidery floss/yarn OR Black felt for nose and eyes
- Stuffing (I’m using organic carded wool from a local farm, but I also like this organic roving*. You can also use fiber stuffing, like this one made from recycled plastic bottles*)
- Matching all-purpose thread (I carry organic thread in my Etsy shop)
- Marking tool (like this disappearing pen* or this water soluble pen*)
- Pins or clips*
- Tool for turning and stuffing (like these hemostat clamps*)
- Doll Needle
Links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of them, I get a small percentage of the sale with no extra cost to you.
If you use natural fleece, I recommend a 90/14 ball point needle. If you decide to go with organic cotton thread, I recommend making your final stitch a stretch stitch (baste first when sewing curves as a stretch stitch is fairly permanent).
Printing the Patterns
I’ve made two versions of the patterns for Booper the Cat, Potato the Guinea Pig, and Quigley the Corgi, so you can make a big or tiny version, or both!
Print at 100% (see a tutorial on printing and assembling patterns here).
Tracing the Pattern
- Cut out paper pattern. I find it easier to trace the stitch line for small pieces, so I’m using the arm, leg, ear, and tail pattern pieces with only the seam allowance at the very end.
- Line up arrows with grainline/nap direction of fabric. Trace all pieces (except the arms) and transfer all markings.
Don’t like sewing curves? Not a problem. Make a solid colored cat by tracing the back piece twice instead of the belly and front side pieces, then transfer the facial markings to one of the back pieces.
Sewing the Arms and Legs
- For the arms, stitch an 11 in x 4 in piece of gray fleece to an 11 in x 2 in piece of white fleece, RIGHT sides together, along the longest edge.
- Finger press seam allowance open, fold widthwise with RIGHT sides together. Trace pattern piece and stitch arms.
- Cut out arms and turn. Run your hemostat clamps around the seams inside to help them fully open, and stuff about 2/3 of the way up.
- With right sides together, stitch around legs. Cut out and turn right side out. Stuff 2/3 full.
Sewing the Body Front
- Cut out body pieces. Again, if you want a solid color cat, substitute the front pieces for a second back piece.
- Pin pieces 1 and 2, RIGHT sides together. Sew with 1/4″ seam allowance. If you are new to sewing curves, baste stitch and make sure you don’t have any puckering before sewing the final stitch. (See a video on sewing curves here.)
- Repeat for the other side.
Sewing the Ears
- Trace stitch line of ears.
- With right sides of fabric together, stitch around ears.
- Cut out ears.
- Turn ears right side out. Run your hemostat clamps around the seams. Press if needed.
- Baste stitch ears 1/8″ from bottom edge.
- Fold inner edge of ears over at indicated marking. Baste stitch again across the bottom to hold ears in folded position.
Assembling the Body
- Stitch body pieces RIGHT sides together around U shape, leaving the openings for ears and arms.
- Place the ears and arms in position (photo shows direction ears and arms should be in before being inserted inside the body). Make sure the insides of the ears are touching the body side with the face, and make sure the folded edges of ears are facing the center.
- Pin ears and arms then stitch in place.
- Position legs with the longer side of leg touching the outer seam on body (photo shows direction legs should be in before being inserted inside the body).
- Stitch in place, taking care not to stitch beyond the width of the leg (otherwise your hole for turning will be narrow).
- Hand baste the seam allowances of the opening on the bottom of the body. Clip corners.
Make sure you have your eye and nose positions marked on the right side of the fabric. At this point, you can make the eyes and nose, or you can wait until after stuffing. I like to wait until then end so I can needle sculpt the eyes.
There are a number of options for the eyes and nose:
- You can make them with felt and machine or hand-stitch them 1/8″ from edge, like I did in the Doodles the Deer tutorial.
- You can use a satin stitch for the nose and make embroidered knot eyes with embroidery floss or yarn (here’s a video tutorial on embroidering eyes with a French or colonial knot).
- You can use glass eyes if your cat is not intended for a small child. (I have a tutorial for here for using glass beads for eyes.)
- You can use a plastic safety nose and eyes. Note that safety eyes/noses are not intended for small children, and I do not recommend using them with natural-fiber fabrics, like organic fleece. (Safety eyes typically require a small amount of fusible stabilizer or Fray Check to prevent holes in stretch fabrics.)
- Flip the body right side out. Run your hemostat clamps or chopstick along the inside seams. Stuff the body. Take extra care to stuff the corners of the bottom and the area around the opening.
- Close with a ladder stitch (here’s a video tutorial on how to ladder stitch).
- If you haven’t already, make the eyes and nose. If you’d like to needle sculpt your eyes, here’s a video tutorial.
- Trace stitch line of tail.
- With right sides of fabric together, stitch around tail.
- Cut out and flip right side out.
- Stuff tail to end and fold seam allowance in.
- Ladder stitch tail to indicated area on back. Secure a knot and bury the thread tails. (Here’s a video on attaching parts with a ladder stitch.)
Making the Whiskers
You can use any color you like for the whiskers. I actually prefer the look of white thread, but I had to make the whiskers black to be visible in the photos and video. There are a number of ways to attach whiskers, but this is the method that works best for me:
- Take a strand of thread 8-10″ long and fold it in half. Thread folded end of thread through the eye of a needle (do NOT tie a knot).
- Insert needle into one of the whisker points, grab a few threads from the fabric, and bring the needle out.
- Hold the thread tails and pull the needle until the looped end of the thread is pulled out of the fabric and the needle comes off. Put the two tails of the thread inside the looped end and pull taut to make a knot. Repeat for other whiskers and trim threads to desired length.
Sewing Tiny Patterns
The tiny versions can be sewn entirely by hand, or they can be sewn using a combination of machine-stitching and hand-stitching. The small versions are made using the same instructions as the large versions with a few exceptions:
- Stitch the curves by hand or at least baste by hand before stitching on the machine.
- Use only embroidery for the eyes and nose. Appliqué is too difficult at this this scale.
- For the insides of the ears on tiny animals, I recommend using a lighter weight fabric than fleece so the ears can fold over. I used jersey knit fabric for the inner ears on my tiny cat, corgi, and guinea pig.
- If making a tiny Potato the Guinea Pig, you will fold in both sides of the ears instead of just one side.
- If making a tiny corgi, you do not need the optional third layer of fabric for the ears mentioned in the corgi tutorial.
If you’d like to attach a tiny animal or heart to Booper the Cat’s paws, you can use a ladder stitch or another stitch you are comfortable with. If you have a 5″ doll needle, you may find it helpful to run a thread through the guinea pig that attaches to both paws before doing a ladder stitch. To do this, secure a knot inside one of the cats paws, insert the needle into one side of the guinea pig and bring it out the other, grab about 1/4″ of fabric on the cat’s other paw, pull the tread tight, and secure a knot. Then you can ladder stitch around the knots made on the paws if desired.
Anna Murfin tested my patterns with some upcycled sweaters! I love the texture the sweaters gave her animals, and I want to steal her guinea pig!
Veronica Stienburg made these little guys with polyester fleece! Is that bright orange guinea pig not adorable?!
I’d love to see what you make! Share your photos in my Fluffmonger Patterns group on Facebook!
Organic Fabric Kits
If you’d like to try sewing any of the patterns in this tutorial with organic fabric, I have fabric kits available with just the right amount of hand-dyed organic fabric to complete the project. I also have deluxe kits that include fabric, thread, and tools.
Selling Items Made with this Pattern or Creating Derivative Works
This pattern may be used to create handmade toys to sell, but items may not be mass-produced. Please give credit to Fluffmonger with “pattern by Fluffmonger” and a link to my website, www.fluffmonger.com on your tags and listings.
If you modify the pattern or use certain pieces to create another pattern, still credit Fluffmonger, as these are considered derivative works.
This design is protected by federal copyright law (© 2018) and may not be reproduced in any form. Reproduction of this design, either in part or whole, or distribution of this pattern electronically or by hard copy is strictly prohibited.
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